To stimulate more applications for the Research Council’s instrument kvalifiseringsprosjekt (  in early phase project development, NTNU Discovery, as an alternative to Main Project call for proposals, will in 2021 offer top funding for projects that obtain funding for the kvalifiseringsprosjekt from the Research Council.

Kvalifiseringsprosjekt from NFR can receive NOK 200-500,000 in funding pr project and NTNU Discovery will award 50% top funding to projects that obtain funding from this scheme. The funds will be used to ensure continuity in project development and as intermediate funding before further project funding from NFR or innovation Norway.

Both schemes are processed on an ongoing basis within a total framework of NOK 8,000,000.


The applicant(s) must be either an employee of NTNU/HMN or active students at NTNU.

A DOFI for the project must be submitted to NTNU TTP, with a subsequent IPR assessment from TTO. TTO’s assessment must be included in the dedicated field on the application form for the main project.

The project must be pre-start-up; it cannot be associated with any existing business enterprise.

The application must be submitted using the application template for NTNU Discovery Main Project

The department/clinic or TTO is the project owner and is responsible for the project’s administration. The project manager is responsible for project deliveries and reporting: preliminary reports 6 and 12 months after start-up. A final report is due by 31 December. The report must include how the grant has been spent and a brief status report for milestone achievement. Unused funds shall be returned to NTNU Discovery 12 months after being granted unless otherwise agreed with NTNU Discovery.


Applications for main projects and innovation grants are evaluated by an external jury of independent members.

Applications for main projects and innovation grants are evaluated by an external jury of independent members. The jury evaluates applications individually based on the following assessment criteria:

  • Degree of innovation
  • Market potential
  • Team, project plan and commercialization strategy
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Contribution to achievement of UN sustainable development goals
  • In addition, for innovation grants the jury takes into account the academic community’s contribution of time and resources to provide the candidate with guidance and mentoring during the project period.

Selected projects will then be invited to present their idea to the jury, after which the jury will make an overall assessment of the project using an assessment form.

Finally, the jury will submit a prioritized recommendation for funding to a steering committee, chaired by NTNU’s Pro-Rector for Innovation. The steering committee will make the final decision on grants and funding. Pilot projects are evaluated administratively, based on the same criteria as above, in consultation with the jury and relevant vice deans/academic environments at NTNU and clinic/innovation directors at HMN.


Discovery pilot projects and main projects

Payroll and indirect expenses: Personnel costs to cover necessary activities for concept development and increasing the project’s value.
NTNU Discovery will cover paid leaves of absence for employees at HMN/NTNU for contributions to the project with up to 20 % of the grant from NTNU Discovery. In addition, up to 10 % of the NTNU Discovery grant may be used for project management (payroll expenses).

Consulting services: Costs associated with acquiring services from subcontractors or other development service providers, including external R&D and consulting services.

Materials and equipment: Costs associated with buying materials and equipment for the production of prototypes, necessary equipment for laboratory testing, etc.

Costs associated with the use of laboratories: Varies expenses associated with the use of laboratories, such as laboratory fees or other expenses associated with the lease of similar facilities.

Patenting costs: Funding for pilot projects does not cover patenting costs, whereas funding for main projects may cover such costs.

Other costs: Any costs not fitting into any of the above categories must be specified and must be directly associated with the project’s commercialization objectives in order to be covered by NTNU Discovery.

Basic research, development or marketing of existing products and services, or business development costs.




You must have delivered DOFI to NTNU TTO before applying for NTNU Discovery funds.

You can do this here.


Remember that you must have the application signed by the Prodekan, to confirm that the application is accepted at the Department / Faculty / Clinic.

What do we NOT support?

The project must be pre-startup, it should not be linked to existing company.



Jan Hassel
Telefon: 906 53 180
Kontor: Hovedbygget, sokkel

Håvard Wibe
Telefon: 41 47 37 68
Kontor: Hovedbygget, sokkel


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